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Question: How do I install on older mac OS onto an external HD?

I am trying to install an older OS on an external hard drive to use older software that does not run anymore on High Sierra. I've seen a few links online on how to do this, but nothing really good. Just looking for the steps to install on older OS on an external hard drive, and how to boot from it.

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Well, I ended up booting off the Snow Leopard DVD, then I found that I could install Snow Leopard on any drive at that point. I just had to partition one of my internal hard drives, and set it as a GUID Partition Map. Thanks for everyone's help. Ended up being an easier solution than I thought.

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Mar 10, 2018 1:14 PM in response to Pritch In response to Pritch

The major obstacle you must first overcome is to boot from that operating system, or an older one, because a macOS installer won’t work at all if it’s launched from a superseding OS. If you can do that though, the rest is easy–just designate the destination when it offers that option: choose “Show All Disks” when it appears.

Mar 10, 2018 1:14 PM

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Mar 10, 2018 4:08 PM in response to Pritch In response to Pritch

Well, unless you already have a Mavericks installer or it's in your Purchased items in the App Store it's no longer available. If you do, you would have to restore your Mac Pro to Snow Leopard, run the Mavericks installer to the external, then reinstall High Sierra.


Seems like too much work. I suppose if you do have access to the Mavericks installer, you could create a Mavericks guest in a virtualization program and use it to install to an external drive.


Gives me a headache thinking about this. 😎


What program is so important?

Mar 10, 2018 4:08 PM

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Mar 10, 2018 4:23 PM in response to dialabrain In response to dialabrain

Well, I do have a copy of the Mavericks installation file. But are you saying that I would need to install Snow Leopard instead? That would still work for me, but I'd have to find the disc. I just want to be able to boot from an external and run the older OS when I needed to, but still keep High Sierra on the main hard drive for all other times. Didn't know if it was possible, but saw some discussions about it.


I do a lot of video editing and create DVDs, and iDVD is still the best program out there for that purpose, but it keeps crashing on High Sierra. And I also have other programs that I can't access anymore, but would like to.

Mar 10, 2018 4:23 PM

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Mar 10, 2018 4:29 PM in response to Pritch In response to Pritch

The problem is, you can't run the Maverick installer on anything newer than it is. So you either have to downgrade in order to run it, or as I mentioned install Mavericks as a guest then use the guest to install Mavericks to the external drive.


It's actually easier to do than explain.

Mar 10, 2018 4:29 PM

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Mar 11, 2018 2:19 PM in response to dialabrain In response to dialabrain

在 2018年3月11日,上午4:48,Apple Support Communities Updates <discussions-updates@apple.com> 写道:



Apple Support Communities

dialabrain <https://discussions.apple.com/people/dialabrain?ac_cid=tw123456> has posted in the macOS High Sierra community.

How do I install on older mac OS onto an external HD? <https://discussions.apple.com/message/33140064?ac_cid=tw123456#33140064>

FWIW, you cannot boot from an OS older than what came with your Mac.

To post a reply, go to the discussion <https://discussions.apple.com/message/33140064?ac_cid=tw123456#33140064> in Communities.

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Mar 11, 2018 2:19 PM

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Mar 11, 2018 8:02 PM in response to dialabrain In response to dialabrain

Well, I ended up booting off the Snow Leopard DVD, then I found that I could install Snow Leopard on any drive at that point. I just had to partition one of my internal hard drives, and set it as a GUID Partition Map. Thanks for everyone's help. Ended up being an easier solution than I thought.

Mar 11, 2018 8:02 PM

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Question: How do I install on older mac OS onto an external HD?